The Interaction of Complexity and Management

By Michael R. Lissack | Go to book overview

8

Research on Interactions among Management Decisions

Jan W. Rivkin

In this chapter, Jan W. Rivkin discusses a community of researchers who focus on a particular question: How do the interactions among decisions affect the behavior of managers? He argues that the findings of this community will, in time, produce a set of testable, refutable hypotheses about how organizations work.

In a domain as broad as the intersection of management science and complexity research, it’s very important to find some smaller community of interest with similar and reinforcing ideas. In this chapter, I would like to focus on one of those communities and say a little bit about it. It’s a community that I find particularly exciting because it promises to deliver more than a deeper understanding of things we already know to be true about organizations. It promises to tell us new things and to present novel, testable, refutable hypotheses. Moreover, the community is beginning to fulfill this promise.

In discussing this community, I’ll primarily consider other people’s work. This improves the odds that I will be brief. You will notice that the list of research efforts I plan to discuss (Table 8.1) is a very short list. In part this reflects the youth of the community; we’re still at an early

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